Every week, we bring you the latest headlines from the world of safety and keep you updated on the issues that matter most.
Standing for long periods of time at work may double your risk for developing heart disease. That’s one of the findings from new research out of Canada.
The Institute for Work and Health (IWH) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences used data from a survey done in 2003 which tracked 7,300 workers between the ages of 35 and 74. They found the risk of heart disease was higher among people whose jobs required mostly standing (6.6%) than among people whose jobs involved mostly sitting (2.8%). Even when researchers adjusted those numbers for demographic, health conditions and health behavior, the risk ratio remained the same.
“Workplaces have been hearing a lot lately about the health effects of prolonged sitting on the job,” IWH Senior Scientist Peter Smith says. “Our results suggest that workplaces also need to pay attention to the health effects of prolonged standing and target their prevention programs accordingly.”
Smith says a combination of sitting, standing and moving on the job is likely to have the greatest benefits for heart health. However, he cautions that factors such as work stress need to be taken into account. “Prevention programs that focus solely on physical job activity, while ignoring other conditions such as the psychosocial work environment, are unlikely to lead to meaningful changes in cardiovascular risk,” he says.
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Wrinkled, bunched-up, or shifting rubber-backed floor mats are the primary reason for falls in many companies. That’s one of the takeaways from a new report by a leading authority on the issue.
New Pig is a Pennsylvania-based company that sells workplaces products for leaks, drips, and spills. It recently published a report called “The Walk Zone Safety Report” that was comprised of BLS statistics and a survey of professionals in maintenance, safety, health risk, and facilities management across multiple industries.
Besides the floor mat issue, among the key takeaways from the survey were:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new website geared towards helping employers with worker health. The Workplace Health Resource Center website houses more than 200 resources, including case studies on programs from different types of organizations. Organizers say the goal of the website is to provide trustworthy information on emerging issues such as sleep and fatigue.
“The public information is vetted by the CDC,” says spokesperson Jason Lang, “and a steering committee of national experts in the workplace health community, including employers, state public health departments, business health associations and academic institutions. The [website] helps employers tailor workplace health promotion programs to suit their organizational needs.”
He added that the site includes webinars and videos to help employers who may not know where to start their program. “Small employers represent over 99 percent of all employers, [but] in terms of their use of effective workplace health interventions, lag significantly behind their larger counterparts,” Lang says.
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